Saying that 1905 was a tumultuous year for Russia would be an understatement. “Bloody Sunday” set the tone for a year filled with protests, culminating with a nation-wide strike in September (Freeze 253). The strikes, coupled with the complete embarrassment of Russo-Japanese War, were enough to get Tsar Nicholas II to draw up something that would try and restore some order to the Russian Empire. On October 17th 1905, the October Manifesto was issued. It guaranteed:
1)Freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and Protest
2) The Establishment of a Legislative Body (The Duma)
3) The ability to form political parties
Most people were content with October Manifesto at first, which caused people to stop protesting, but things were only calm for a little while.
I was surprised (but also kind of not… if that makes sense) at how liberal the October Manifesto was. It seems to be a large forfeiture of power by Nicholas II. It certainly felt like he had no other options, but he could have just done nothing. The Manifesto was a big turning point in Russian history. No longer was the Tsar all-powerful; some checks were finally put in place to make the Tsar more accountable.
Russia: A History. Gregory L. Freeze